FDA Says Yogurt Makers Can Make 'Qualified' Claims About T2D Prevention

'Qualified health claim' does not meet the more rigorous 'significant scientific agreement' standard
FDA Says Yogurt Makers Can Make 'Qualified' Claims About T2D Prevention
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MONDAY, March 4, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- In a statement released Friday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said it will not object to yogurt manufacturers making "qualified health claims" that say there is some evidence that eating at least two cups of yogurt a week may lower the chances of developing type 2 diabetes.

The FDA has allowed "qualified health claims" for dietary supplements since 2000 and for foods since 2002, the Associated Press reported.

According to the agency, a qualified health claim is supported by scientific evidence, but it does not meet the more rigorous "significant scientific agreement" standard required for an authorized health claim.

Some of the qualified health claims that the FDA has allowed in the past include that consuming some types of cocoa may reduce heart disease and cranberry juice might reduce the risk for urinary tract infections in women.

In the case of yogurt, the saga began in 2018 when Danone North America, whose yogurt brands include Dannon, Activia, and Horizon Organics, petitioned the FDA for approval to make the health claim. In its petition, the company pointed to studies that observed participants over time and found a link between eating yogurt and lower markers of diabetes. The FDA agreed there "is some credible evidence" of benefit from eating yogurt as a whole food, but not because of any particular nutrient in the product.

Still, critics said the label change is not based on gold-standard randomized controlled trials. Food policy expert Marion Nestle told the Associated Press that qualified health claims are "ridiculous on their face."

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